Especially when your fossil site is located in the middle of a boggy clay pit. As you may be starting to guess, yes, my recent foray into the wilds of Isisford didn't go too well. We packed everything we needed: camping equipment, food, digging tools, maps etc… and then drove 1,200 km to Isisford. But alas, heavy rainfall in central QLD, and the rest of the country as it turns out, made off-road driving near impossible. And a field site 20 km from bitumenised road is definitely a no-go. We diligently waited for the rain to pass, and it would hold off for a day, but then be back the next. But at least I've seen what that part of the country looks like! I took the opportunity to walk along the Barcoo River, and imagined scenarios in which animal carcasses could be washed down river, decay and bury, much like the Isisford fauna may have 100 million years ago. Stay tuned for more field trip photos and stories, sadly sans fossils.
About the author
Dr Caitlin Syme is a palaeontologist who recently finished her PhD at The University of Queensland, studying the taphonomy (preservation state) of fossil non-avian dinosaurs, crocodiles and fish from the Winton Formation, Queensland, Australia. Think forensic science or CSI for fossils, and you're on the right track!
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